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Concerning the


The principal Things relating to this INSTI-

TUTION are briefly considered, and shewn
to arise out of one single notion of it, viz.
As a Memorial of the Death of Christ:

First printed in the Year 1732.

. To which are added,
I. A DISCOURSE on the Obligations to

communicate, and an Answer to the usual

Pleas for neglecting it.

lating to the Lord's SUPPER.

E D I N B U R G H:
Printed by SANDS, Murray, and COCHRAN,

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DISCOURSE * Concerning the


HE Christian religion, contained in the scriptures of the New Testament, is so called, because it is the religion of Jesus Christ,

which he taught partly in his own person while he was upon earth, and more fully by his apostles after his ascension into heaven; from whence he sent down his Holy Spirit upon them, to lead them into the knowledge of all truth; and, by the gifts of languages, and a power of working miracles, to enable them to propagate and establish ic. in all the earth. Among many things which hew the great excellency of this religion, not only above the false religions of the world, but even that of Moses himself, (though that also was from God), we are to regard this as none of the least considerable, that it is a most reasonable and spiritual service; having but two duties belonging to it that are of a positive nature; that is, such as might never have A 2


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been duties, and would never have been so, without a particular and exprefs command of God for them. And these are, baptisin, and the Lord's fupper. The outward action in both these is of itself indifferent, and obliges only by virtue of its being injoined by one whose authority we have no room to dispute.

By baptism, they who had embraced the doctrine of salvation by Christ, took upon them the public profession of it, and were received into the number of his disciples; as all those in like manner are, to whom baptism is now administered. By communicating in the Lord's fupper, we endeavour to keep alive in ourselves, and to preserve in the world, the memory of the divine author of that religion into which baptism first enters us. This is a plain account of these two gospel-ordinances, with regard to the first and most general design of each. The former hath a more immediate respect to the religion itself which we profess; the latter, to the author of it, in remembrance of whom this inftitution of his is to be observed throughout all generations.

That men having fufficient evidence of the truth of the gospel, should readily believe and entertain it; and believing it to be true, Should openly profess it, is a dictate of natural reason; in other words, a moral duty. But the obligation they are under to declare and profess their faith by the particular cerea mony of baptizing with water, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the How

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ly Ghost, doth not arise out of the nature of the ceremony itself, but is wholly to be refolved into the divine appointment. So again, that we should gratefully remember our benefactors, and that person, therefore, above all, who hath proved himself the greatest friend to mankind they ever had; is what reason, and all the principles of ingenuity, . will not suffer us to be ignorant of But for setting apart bread and wine to this use by folemn prayer, and then eating and drinking in memory of our blessed Lord, we have no other warrant but his express command, De this in remembrance of me. However, there is this to be said for these two rites or ceremonies, that they have nothing burdensome and difficult in the practice of them, and will bear an easy and obvious application, as figns to the things signified and intended by them; which, no doubt, is one reason of their having been chosen by our Saviour for this purpose. I say one reason, not the only one; since, befides this, another inducement seems to have been, that he might not depart, further than was necessary, from the received customs of the Jews; among whom, as frequent walings were a great part of their religion, lo John his forerunner came baptizing with water, in token of that repentance by which they were prepared for the kingdom of heaven, or the gospel-dispensation, which was then at hand. And in eating the passover, it was their manner, having taken bread, to bless and break it, and to hallow or bless fe

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